30 June 2014


In common with students the world over, I spent a great deal of my exam preparation time drawing up revision schedules. A key element of any study session for me, though, was that it should start at the 'right' time, ie anything with a five or a zero at the end of it. 

I might be settled at my desk with all my materials, but I still couldn't start work until I'd checked the time: if it didn't end with the right number, I'd have to wait for the display to change.

As a result, I spent a lot of time looking out of the window and twiddling my thumbs; being at school and university in the 70s and 80s, I couldn't text my friends, check emails or surf the Internet to occupy myself. 

Countless hours must have vanished in this (in)activity, just because I felt uncomfortable starting my revision at, say, 09:29. And, of course, if I didn't look at the clock at the right moment, I'd miss my slot and have to wait for the next one.

Image courtesy of digitalart/
I still do this. On a Monday - my writing day - I begin each piece of work at a time ending with a five or a zero. Now, though, I do fill those waiting minutes by reading emails and surfing, which means I often miss my moment and have to kill yet more time. No wonder I sometimes feel these days are unproductive.

It wasn't until we went on holiday last July that I discovered I could not only schedule blog posts to publish on a given day, but also at a specific time. Now, even when I'm actually sitting at my desk, I schedule my weekly post for the next 'good' time coming up, rather than click on Publish the second it's ready. 

I prefer the numbers ending in zero and, for the first few weeks after this discovery, was also fixated on publishing at 12:30. One day, however, circumstances conspired to delay me - the clock-watching may have contributed - and I had to settle for 13:00. At which point, I realised that I liked the double zeros even better. I've managed to resist getting stuck on those, and to settle for the next available five-minute mark, which avoids ridiculous delays in publication; such as a piece being ready at 12.02, but not publishing it for 58 minutes. 

Somehow, before this revelation, I accidentally published at a good time by chance on three occasions. How I wish I could amend the other nine, along with my post from
9 December 2013, which, for some reason, appeared at 17:48; both strangely late in the day (possibly due to IT problems) and at a horrible time. 

Those random publication times feel untidy to me, but since they're as set as fossils in rocks, I'm just going to have to live with them!

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